Emilia Bassano is a girl who relishes the music of words. Although she plays the lute and writes poetry, Emilia nurtures a dream: to hear her words come alive on stage. Emilia wants to write soliloquies for heroes and kings and queens of old, fashion fierce villains to make audiences howl, and try her hand at comedy and romance. Most of all, she wants to create unforgettable women characters.
On one of her trips to the theater, an unfortunate series of events leaves her penniless, with no way of watching the show. That is until a boy by the name of Will Shakespeare helps her sneak in to see the play. They realize they're both aspiring playwrights and Emilia convinces Will to join her in her efforts to win a playwriting competition at the palace of Queen Elizabeth I.
However, when Emilia accidentally uncovers a plot to kill the queen, she is given the job of traveling to the castle where Mary Queen of Scots is being held captive, to discover who is responsible for the plan to murder Queen Elizabeth — and to thwart it! Can Emilia and her friends stop the plans of a disguised murderer on the loose? This delightful mystery is a marvel of incisive wit and extraordinary craft from the beloved, award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson.
"Emilia (a historical figure, like most of the cast) smartly carries her mission out to a successful conclusion with a clever closing twist.... In her spare time, Emilia writes a one-act play that revises the old tale of King Alfred and the cakes, giving his future warrior queen daughter, Aethelflaed, a starring role — which is appended in full and preceded by extensive production notes and a general performance license to encourage young thespians.... A fully packed feminist treat."— Kirkus Reviews
|8 - 12
|Oct 17, 2023